|Halley and I at training|
Monday, May 23, 2016
Time to get schooled
Two weekends ago I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the German National Leadership Training for CISV leaders. Though post-training I learned I won’t actually be a leader, but rather a staff, CISV Deutschland let me attend what turned out to be one of the most meaningful weekend workshops I have ever participated in. It was also referred to as the “Schulung” (schooling/training), hence the blog post title.
For starters, Germany only does one national leadership training per year so all leaders must attend. It also takes place over a holiday weekend. I liked this much better than how the USA has several trainings simply because we are all so spread out and how they occur on regular weekends so activities must be crammed into much shorter time slots. Germans also tend to have a “work hard play hard” mentality so while we had lots to get done during the day, we also got to have a party on the last night.
This being my third German national CISV event, I enjoyed seeing how I’ve progressed throughout each one. At the National Board Meeting in October, I basically sat their lost because after a 45 minute presentation I still only understood the theme of what was presented and nothing else. In December, it was more of an international group, but still mostly made up of Germans. I felt I could contribute a little bit there but still mostly confused when just with Germans. This weekend was the ultimate test. This leadership training would be all in German and it was damn important that I understood it if I’m to be the legal guardian of four Portuguese teenagers this summer. I’m happy to report that while humbled in some discussions where I had to ask multiple times for clarification, I pretty much got what was happening. While there were also three other foreigners attending (shout out to Halley from my hometown it was good to catch up) everyone spoke with us in German and this really helped me feel like a part of the group rather than a hindrance.
I really enjoyed the variety in activities. While of course sometimes you must sit and talk, maybe there was a ball of string to toss around or funny pictures to draw or people acting out parts you didn’t know about or maybe even a bottle of prosecco. I’ve also felt for awhile that I’d lost some interest in CISV, at least for the time being. This welcoming, kind, and fun group of people helped reaffirm my decision to participate in a CISV camp this summer